Priest embraced Islam, (3) ex- minister of the United Methodist Church Part 2
This is the third priest in this series of “Priests Embraced Islam”
This is the second priest in this series of
Before he embraced Islam:
His name was Dr. Jerald F. Dirks from USA.
After he has embraced Islam, he changed his name to Abu Yahya.
His position was Former minister (deacon) of the United Methodist Church.
His Education and qualification:
- Master’s degree in Divinity from Harvard University and a
- Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver (USA)
Dr. Jerald F. Dirks has embraced Islam after an exciting spiritual and rational trip during which he kept reading and thinking.
Herein is the story of the Ex- minister (deacon) of the United Methodist Church.
Dr. Jerald F. Dirks (Abu Yahya) continues his story and says:
There is some irony in the fact that the supposedly best, brightest, and most idealistic of ministers-to-be are selected for the very best of seminary education, e.g. that offered at that time at the Harvard Divinity School. The irony is that, given such an education, the seminarian is exposed to as much of the actual historical truth as is known about: 1) the formation of the early, “mainstream” church, and how it was shaped by geopolitical considerations; 2) the “original” reading of various Biblical texts, many of which are in sharp contrast to what most Christians read when they pick up their Bible,
although gradually some of this information is being incorporated into newer and better translations; 3) the evolution of such concepts as a triune godhead and the “sonship” of Jesus, peace be upon him; 4) the non-religious considerations that underlie many Christian creeds and doctrines; 5) the existence of those early churches and Christian movements which never accepted the concept of a triune godhead, and which never accepted the concept of the divinity of Jesus, peace be upon him; and 6) etc. (Some of these fruits of my seminary education are recounted in more detail in my recent book, The Cross and the Crescent: An Interfaith Dialogue between Christianity and Islam, Amana Publications, 2001.)
As such, it is no real wonder that almost a majority of such seminary graduates leave seminary, not to “fill pulpits”, where they would be asked to preach that which they know is not true, but to enter the various counseling professions. Such was also the case for me, as I went on to earn a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology. I…